PM received this issue’s Truck Of The Month not from a company, but from the owner’s friend, who couldn’t sit idly by while Plumber Dave President David Dahlquist’s unique and effective plumbing trucks went unacknowledged.
Sean Sweeney, who worked as a plumber and is a PM subscriber, says he took it upon himself to nominate Dahlquist and his company because, “Plumber Dave is run the way a company should be.”
In a little under two years, Plumber Dave in North Port, Fla., has grown from a single truck with office space in Dahlquist’s parents’ home, to a four-truck operation with eight employees.
“I always wanted my own company,” Dahlquist says. “When my wife Debbie and I moved to Florida in 2004, the opportunity presented itself.”
Dahlquist was unaware that Sweeney had submitted the photos of his 12-ft. long GMC Savannah box truck, which is creatively wrapped in a watery design, with the Plumber Dave logo prominent for customer recognition.
The other vehicles in the Plumber Dave fleet include an F-150 pick up truck, a Ford E-350 super cargo van, and an Isuzu box truck strictly used for re-piping. (Florida is currently experiencing leaks in copper piping under the slab, Dahlquist tells us.)
“[The trucks] carry a basic stock of plumbing supplies, including different types of water piping to repair any type of water leak on pressure or drainage.”
While the re-piping market is pretty lucrative these days, the Plumber Dave image is what keeps customers coming back. Slab leaks, which can occur at any given time, are very costly to homeowners. And being highly visible on the road helps when those situations arise.
In fact, the company received a call recently from a customer who wanted to “jump right in” to the pool-water-like graphics. “A lot of our customers call because they like the [truck’s] design. This generates a service call, and gives us the opportunity to provide exceptional customer service and quality workmanship.”
Sweeney agrees. “The graphics on the Plumber Dave trucks portray the company as very professional. And they’re getting attention in all the right ways; even at the supply house, everyone can recognize a Plumber Dave truck.”
As a plumbing business owner, Dahlquist understands that first impressions make a difference, and giving his technicians the right tools - beginning with a well-designed and functional service vehicle - is important.
Sweeney says Plumber Dave is a “true American company.” From the owners’ devotion to family and community, to getting the right technicians from the start, writing employee guidelines and providing pricing manuals. Dahlquist is “beyond a boss,” Sweeney says, and he really takes care of his people.
“I’ve often told Dave, ‘My boss should do this,’ and point out something I read in PM. Then Dave takes those suggestions and runs with it. He’s built his company solid.”
And Dahlquist is not ashamed to ask for help when he gets a new idea, such as when he sought the advice of graphic designers - also friends - to develop the look of the Plumber Dave trucks.
“You want to be noticed,” Dahlquist advises. “Hire a great graphic design team. You can brainstorm different ideas and designs to maximize your company’s image. Your trucks, in my opinion, are a reflection of your company, and are very effective in making your phone ring.”
And in our opinion, it also helps to have a friend’s encouragement all along the way.